How to do Stakeholder Management

Stakeholder Management

In order to do stakeholder management effectively, you need to complete your stakeholder assessment and your mapping. For more detail on stakeholder assessment, please look at our other blogs where we go into that in more detail so you can really understand it. 

So you need to identify who the stakeholders are, the people who have influence or impact on your change project or program, and then you want to map them into an impact and influence grid: the influence stakeholders have on the success of the program and the impact the program has on them.

With each of your stakeholder individuals or groups, you want to plot them on the grid. Each of the quadrants of the grid then tells you what you need to be doing in terms of how you manage that stakeholder individual group from either just keeping them informed and satisfied with what’s going on in the change program right through to really actively engaging them. So, for example, if they’re going to have really strong influence over the success of the program and it’s going to have an impact on them as well and they need to be engaged by it, then you really need to be actively engaging, informing them, keeping them engaged in what’s going on. So your stakeholder assessment map is a really key step when managing stakeholders so you can understand what your response needs to be.

Once you’ve mapped your stakeholders onto a grid, you can then draw out a plan in terms of what you’re going to actually do to manage them on an ongoing basis. For each group of stakeholders or individual, once you’ve understood whether they’ve got a high, medium, or low level of impact and influence, you can then think about and devise your plan for managing them. So, for example, senior stakeholders who are going to have a lot of impact and are going to want to know what’s going on in the program, whether return on investments being made, the value, etc., they’re going to want to be kept informed of what’s going on through regular checkpoints, regular governance, that type of thing versus, say, for example, employees. It might have a big impact on them, so actually, they want communications that make them feel really engaged in terms of how this is going to impact their day-to-day role, but they’re not really interested in the broader aspects of the program, investment, money that’s being spent, etc. Sure, that’s not a relevance for them. So you want to think about the different engagement approach depending on the level of impact and influence, and that’s really then how you draw out your management plan.

Also think about relationship owners: if you’ve got lots of stakeholders that need looking after and a big team, then you might want to kind of man-mark people, particularly if you’re talking about change that’s got a scope across different geographies. Think about where relationships lie within your change team or your program team and how you’re going to potentially man-mark your different stakeholders or groups according to what their needs are, and according to where you sit in the business and who would be most appropriate to manage them.

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